How Do You Fix Pastel Paintings?

Anna Meenaghan

How Do You Fix Pastel Paintings?

What do we mean by fixing? Basically it is using different methods to try and preserve your paintings.

There are various thoughts on this subject. Some people use a fixative - others do not like to use one at all. Possibly with the thought that it might stop the Maybe others fix a bit at a time as they go along, but then do not fix the completed picture. As far as others go they only fix at the end.

Should you want to fix your painting without spraying, there is something you can do. A good alternative, perhaps is, to cover the painting with a sheet of cellophane paper or even tissue, then place a board on top of this and press hard. Your pressure then makes the pastel specks go more definitely into the grain of your paper. Do not apply too much pressure or this could change the texture surface of your painting.

Another way is to fix the back of your painting - this is to avoid you overspraying the painting. What happens is the fixative will soak through so that it makes the pastel damp to hold it in position, but does not really upset the surface. Some paper is pretty absorbent, therefore this is an improved way of fixing, rather than creating like a skin of fixative over not settled pigments.

Diffusers too, are another way of doing your fixing - although sometimes you may find that these clog up. It is possible to put through thin wire after using, which then cleans them ready for the next time. Perfect fixing is not always achieved. Ideally you need to stand about 2 feet away from the painting and start spraying from the outside of the picture.

Then go backwards and forwards across your painting with a slow and controlled hand. Go past the edge and, whatever you do, do not stop in the middle. Actually, what you need is an even spray which is fine, but you also have to keep your arm moving. This way the spray does not stick in one place. If this happens and you have too much fixative there, it is likely to be dripping down your painting and will probably leave dark patches.

If you are wanting to retain the brightness of your colours on your painting and you really like to fix your work, I can only suggest the following: Please spray it on during the painting process! However, you need to do this before you put on any final layer of colour, do any touch ups or highlights. If you do it this way it should surely keep it's freshness.

Otherwise you are likely to find that you are disheartened by the fact that your work seems to be ruined by a dull effect. I also find that if you apply it this way, you will not have problems with new colours mixing amongst ones applied earlier.

Leave the final layer of colour unfixed to obtain the best and freshest result you require. For me, personally, I never think doing fixing is an easy task. Therefore I hope that this will help to give you a few pointers in the right direction.

About the Author:
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Pastel painting course - Fixing and storing your pastel paintings.



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